Making Senior Living Design More Distinctive

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 20 November 2012

The words senior living tend to conjure a certain image, and one that would come to the minds of most: a sprawling, brand new building with immaculate landscaping, perhaps a fountain out front.

Leslie Moldow expands on this theme in an article for the November/December 2012 issue of Leading Age magazine. She opens her piece, “The Power of Place in Design” with this intriguing question: Why is it that senior living communities tend to look alike?

If you’ve visited or worked in any number of senior living communities, you have no doubt noticed the commonalities in design. Moldow’s article suggests that the 77 million baby boomers may have something to do with that model changing. She believes this trend is gaining momentum nationwide: “More residents are rejecting homogeneous places in favor of more interesting identities. Cities across the country are adopting strategies to create a sense of place in order to keep residents, draw new ones, and, for many, attract visitors.”

Moldow also references several buildings with noteworthy design: The Plaza Hotel in New York, and The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, California. What these buildings share is not only a unique style and architecture, but also a “memorable environment.” This is the quality that speaks to the “power of place,” the quality that senior living developers of the future should consider when renovating old places and building new ones.

  • Read the full article to learn more about the elements that Moldow believes best comprise a dynamic community.
  • Read our articles on senior living design here.


Your turn: Was the design and look of a place important to you in your senior living search?


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